The Kootenay Ice beat the road blues by shutting out the Lethbridge Hurricanes 3-0 on home ice on Saturday night at Western Financial Place.
Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski earned his fourth career shutout by stopping 23 shots, while Levi Cable, Joey Leach and Brock Montgomery supplied the offence.
“I’m feeling really good, especially bouncing back from that Red Deer game [a 6-2 loss],” said Ice goaltender Mackenzie Skapski. “It was a tougher game and it’s good to get back on track again.”
Sam Reinhart extended his point streak to 16 games—the longest active run in the WHL—by assisting Cable’s goal in the second period.
Reinhart’s streak has tallied 14 goals and 11 assists over the last 16 games.
“Obviously there’s been a little individual success on this little run we’ve had, but more importantly, over the last 16 games, we’ve had quite a few wins,” said Reinhart. “We’re just looking forward to keeping that up, every game is so important, so we really need a big performance out of every guy, every game going down the last couple weeks here.”
Kootenay has won 12 of the 16 games during Reinhart’s streak.
The win also makes it eight in a row in their home barn for the Ice, which have another pair next weekend in front of the home crowd against Spokane and Moose Jaw.
Special teams won the game for Kootenay, especially on the penalty kill, as the Ice shut out the Hurricanes on all six of their opportunities with the man advantage. On the other side of the coin, the Ice capitalized twice on three powerplay chances.
Lethbridge goaltender Ty Rimmer made 26 saves for the loss.
The two teams played each other to a draw during the opening period, but Montgomery saved a sure goal when he got his stick tangled up with an opponent who had a wide open net.
The Ice seemed to have some trouble establishing a rhythm in the first period, killing off three of Lethbridge’s six powerplays.
“It was just too many penalties in the first and big kills by us and that really enabled us to get some momentum going into the second period and we were able to get some goals there and Skapper played great, said Reinhart.”
The first goal came shorthanded, as Reinhart intercepted the puck at the Ice blueline while on the penalty kill and turned up the ice. Streaking down the sideboards, he dished off the puck to Cable, who went top shelf on Rimmer.
Four minutes later, on another man-advantage, captain Joey Leach took a pass from Luke Philp and blasted a slap shot into the back of the net.
Montgomery got his late off an empty net goal as the Hurricanes pulled Rimmer to make it even strength while trying to kill off a late penalty.
It was the first time Mike Simpson faced his former team since getting traded earlier in January.
“It was good, we had a few words, thought I’d have to drop the gloves and tune him up for all the times he pissed me off when we were rooming together,” joked Jon Martin, after the game.
ICE NOTES: Kootenay is three points outside of a playoff spot behind the Medicine Hat Tigers in ninth place. Tanner Faith didn’t play against Lethbridge as he is out one to two weeks with an upper body injury. The team will be out at the skating area in Baker Park on Monday afternoon from 4-6 p.m. Anyone can bring a stick and a pair of skates to play some shinney with the team.